Greetings from the St. Joseph’s Indian School High School

Dee, St. Joseph's Transition Specialist

Dee, St. Joseph’s Transition Specialist

program! My name is Dee and I am the Transition Specialist working with the high school students. My job is to help prepare students for life after high school graduation. There are many different opportunities for our seniors to consider after high school.

The “Senior Suitcase” is an important part of life after St. Joseph’s for our students. We – and our generous donors – want students to be prepared for their

Students had a list and a budget to stick to while they packed their “Senior Suitcase.”

Angela compares prices to be sure she’s getting the best deal.

future and living independently.

In understanding this idea, students received a budget and are able to purchase items needed that they will use once they depart from our campus – things like a microwave, television and laundry basket.

We know that our students have diverse plans once graduated (college, vo-tech school, military or workforce). So, with a budgeted amount of money, an itemized list and some guidance from staff, students can chose what they feel is suitable for them and what will come next in their life.

Our six graduating seniors were very appreciative and grateful to have

The “Senior Suitcase” enables students to purchase things they’ll need when they leave high school.

Erica has everything she needs for her college dorm room!

this opportunity! Thank you for your support and the great opportunity that this has provided for our students.


Transition Specialist

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

It has been an interesting and eventful week at St. Joseph’s.  Weather is getting warmer, but we do need rain.  We did our 20th Annual Sobriety Walk this past Friday. The students gathered in front of the rec center and then headed out for their walk into the community. There was a small group of students that had enough energy to run the distance.

Everyone has supper together in the dining hall and then the older grades attended the presentation on avoiding alcohol and drugs. Everyone had a great time!

St. Joseph’s holds three sobriety celebrations each year.

St. Joseph’s Sobriety Walk was held last Friday.

On Monday, the eighth graders shadowed our high school students at Chamberlain High School to get a feel of what school is going to be like for them next year.  They follow our current students around to learn the layout of the high school and meet some of the teachers and staff.

Last Monday evening, members of Dave’s Government class attended the local Chamberlain City Commissioners meeting. It was a good opportunity to see local government in action and ask questions about what motivates the commissioners to serve.

Some of the students’ questions included:

  • What are some of the key issues the city is facing now and in the future?
  • What are the requirements for running for a seat on the city council?
  • Has there ever been a woman commissioner?
  • Can a Native American or other minority run?

They learned that there has been a female commissioner in the past and anyone can run for a seat as long as they live within the city limits, are at least 18 years old and do not have a felony on their record.

St. Joseph’s students and staff just completed a month-long food drive.  The food was gathered up today and taken to the local women’s shelter. St. Joseph’s students had the opportunity to make a donation with their home, or to make a purchase on their own for the food drive.

The Lakota (Sioux) children are so grateful to be able to help others and give back to the community! It is an important way for the students to show their appreciation for your generosity to each of them, and to recognize the need to help others.


In high school sports, junior Adrian was selected to the Big Dakota All

Adrian, a St. Joseph’s junior, has earned top basketball honors.

Adrian earned a spot on the Big Dakota All Conference basketball team as well as the SESD All Conference team.

Conference basketball team as well as the SESD All Conference team.  We look forward to a great year next year and a possible trip to cheer him and the Cubs on at the State Boys Basketball Tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently won the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently won the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently went to Pierre, South Dakota last week to participate in the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament with 20-30 other golfers. We are happy to announce that he won!  Chris, one of our staff and the Chamberlain High School golf coach, shared that Danny had a tough putt on his last shot, but sank it with no trouble.

Congratulations Adrian and Danny!

Have a great week. Be assured of our prayers for your generosity which enables the Lakota boys and girls to take part in all these activities. Also, please join us in keeping the people of Nepal in prayer as they recover from the recent earthquake.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Weekends are getting quiet around here as it seems more students are away lately than on campus.  When the school year is winding down, our homes take the opportunity to visit various South Dakota attractions. They search out a hotel in Sioux Falls or Rapid City with an indoor pool or head for a shopping mall.  This is part of each home’s annual budget to take a “family trip.”

This past Sunday we held another Lakota Mass on campus. Our drum group was present to provide music.  We were honored to have several dancers take part and various parts of the Mass were recited in Lakota.

The big excitement this week is the circus! The Shrine Circus was in Chamberlain on Monday and Tuesday with four performances.  The younger students (first through third grades) attended the performance on Monday afternoon and really enjoyed themselves.  They loved seeing elephants and tigers, they were amazed by the skill of the acrobats and giggled at the clowns. Everyone had a wonderful time!

The Lakota children are excited to spend more time outside now that spring has arrived at St. Joseph’s.

Spring means home trips and playing outside at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Medical students from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion visited St. Joseph’s campus and talked with our nurses.  Several of them also made a presentation to our seventh and eighth graders encouraging them to give the medical field some consideration for their future plans.

The college students shared their backgrounds and gave St. Joseph’s students tips on preparing now for the future.  As they answered questions from the students, they played a medical version of Jeopardy where students could pick a question from six categories covered in their presentation.

Tomorrow, everyone will participate in our Spring Sobriety Walk.  There will be a presentation to for all our students, elementary through high school, on why it is important to stay strong and avoid drugs and alcohol.  Staff and students will do a walk around town and then enjoy a meal together. Watch our Facebook page for photos!

Our high school students have an early dismissal on Friday and St. Joseph’s will be hosting a job fair for them sharing what job possibilities will exist this summer, both on campus and off. Several students will be on campus for drivers’ education and other programs. Some simply want to make some extra money for the next school year. Pilamayathank you – for making it possible for our Lakota (Sioux) students to take advantage of these opportunities!

The Chamberlain High School Native American Club is preparing for their annual powwow on May 2. Eight of St. Joseph’s high school students are involved, as well as other students. Please keep them in your prayers as they plan and execute the event, asking for help with concessions, cleaning and food, along with general supervision and guidance.

I hope you had a great week and that all continues to go well for you and yours!

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Marjorie overheard her two twin second-grade boys talking to friends. “We’re

Clare, St. Joseph's Director of Pastoral Care

Clare, St. Joseph’s Director of Pastoral Care

getting baptized next weekend,” they said with excitement.

“What’s that?” a friend asked.

“I was just amazed at what they said and how they retained what they had been taught,” their mother, Marjorie, relates. “They said you go to church, and water is poured over you. You receive power from Jesus.”

“Like superpowers?” the friend questioned.

“No, not superpowers, but strength and power to do good from Jesus,” answered one of the twins.

On April 12, the Second Sunday of Easter, the twins, Hector and Raymond, received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (First Communion). The festivities began with a fried-chicken dinner for 21 families the evening of April 11 in St. Joseph’s Dining Hall.

“It was so wonderful to be together as a family,” says Marjorie, noting that her brother and his wife, who are godparents for the boys, were able to be there. “We don’t get to see each other that often, so it was very special.” Hector and Raymond’s two older brothers also were there. One brother, Nicholas, made each of the boys a special cross necklace for the occasion.

The emphasis on families that Marjorie felt is part of the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Twenty-one students at St. Joseph’s were baptized with the support of their families.

Marjorie watches with pride as her son is baptized.

When we respond to a family’s request to prepare a student in the faith life of the Catholic Church, from the beginning of preparation we are in contact to make sure we are in step with what the family desires for the faith life of the child. We are in regular contact by phone and mail, and this year the process culminated with a family meal the evening prior to our “Easter celebration.”

“This is good,” one grandmother said about her three grandsons who were baptized that day. “They have learned the traditional ceremonies, and they have this, too, now. Wherever we go to pray, we pray to the one God.”

Twenty-one families joined us on campus for the event this year, some with ten or more members. “It was big,” says Marjorie. “I had no idea it would be that big. It was just beautiful.”

Nineteen other schoolmates of all ages from St. Joseph’s Indian School also received the three sacraments alongside the twins. A fifth-grade girl, baptized in another Christian tradition, made a profession of faith in the Catholic Church, was confirmed and had her First Communion. Nine additional Catholic second-grade students received their First Communion.

Thank you for the opportunities you help provide the Lakota children and families!


Director of Pastoral Care

Several of St. Joseph’s high school students attended the Chamberlain High School prom this past Saturday night.  Everyone looked sharp as

Fr. Anthony and the Lakota children.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s chaplain with students receiving First Communion.

they got ready and headed out to the Grand March.  After the dancing ended, post prom activities commenced, ending Sunday morning at 6:00 AM.

Needless to say, they were a little sleepy during Mass, but all went well!

During Sunday’s Mass, we had 21 students receive the Sacraments of Initiation — Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation; one student made their Profession of Faith, received First Communion and Confirmation.

Students danced the night away at prom!

Davis and Martina all dressed up and ready for prom!

Nine students received their First Communion.  The ceremony was very moving and we were honored to have many family members and friends present to be supportive of our students as they took these major steps in their spiritual journey.

We were honored to share this special day with them and their families. However, not all of St. Joseph’s students are Catholic.

Helping with the liturgy was Deacon Harold Condon, who was honored during the service with the 10th Annual St. Joseph’s Indian School Distinguished Alumni Award. After Mary Jane, our Director of Alumni, presented the award to Harold, he shared some reflections with the students. He encouraged them to value their time and the opportunities they’ll have attending St. Joseph’s Indian School, which will help them prepare for the future. Read more about him on our website.

You are most likely aware that keeping our students safe is our top priority. As a result, we have regular fire drills,

Dn. Harold Condon

Dn. Harold Condon was named St. Joseph’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.

lock down drills, tornado alerts, and even earthquake drills so students and staff know what to do in an emergency situation. Last Thursday, just as we were finishing the practice for the reception of Sacraments, the fire alarm went off and everyone headed out to their designated spot.  Well done everyone!

I hope everyone has a great week.   May we keep those areas of our country suffering from drought in our prayers asking God to bless Mother Earth with the much needed moisture for daily life and the up-coming planting season.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ








Hi, my name is April and I would like to say Cante’ Waste’ Nape ciyuzapi Ksto/lo – I greet you with a warm heart and handshake.

April, Family/Student Care Specialist

April, Family/Student Care Specialist

I work at St. Joseph Indian School and I am the Family/Student Care Specialist. I have the opportunity to work with our little free spirits here at St. Joseph’s and I’m grateful for each day – I love working with each and every one of them! In June, I will have been here for nine years and it just keeps getting better.

There are so many positive programs at St. Joseph’s; I am very thankful for all the support that St. Joseph’s has for families and staff members, so we can provide the best support for the children. There are so many opportunities for our students, even after graduation when they go on to college. I enjoy reading the messages we get from the Alumni Coordinator, sharing where former students are going to college and how they are doing. I cannot get over how much help and support is given to all!

St. Joseph’s annual powwow is one of many cultural elements to the programs we provide for the Lakota children.

Programs for St. Joseph’s students encompass everything from powwow and education about the Lakota (Sioux) culture to cooking and living independently.

My heart feels good when there is always so much good news. As parents and guardians continue to participate in our family programs, they become stronger. They themselves become aware of how strong they can be and how supportive they are for their children at St. Joseph’s. We are grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with these families.

I say Wopida Tankamany thanks – for your time in reading my blog post! So many good thoughts and feelings arise as I read blog posts from other staff members. Please know that you too share with us in a very special way, through your comments, encouragement and prayers.

So, with this being said, Mitaku oyasin (all my relatives) I will share with you again someday soon.


Family/Student Care Specialist

I hope everyone had a beautiful and blessed Easter.  It was a quiet weekend as most of our students were away for the Easter break.

All sorts of activity has taken place recently.  The eighth grade boys’ and girls’ basketball teams took on the staff and there were some exciting finishes.  The girls only had five players, so there was no break for them. The staff could keep sending in waves of replacements. Even so, the girls hung on for a 30 to 29 win.  The boys had the lead until the very end and came up one point short, losing 47-46.

The staff who take part in our student mentoring program recently attended a hockey game in Sioux Falls at the new Denny Sanford Premier Center.  The following night nearly 70 students and staff again made the journey to Sioux Falls; this time to watch the home opener of the Sioux Falls Storm indoor football team taking on the Billings, Montana Wolves.  It is an interesting game to watch with balls flying over the barriers surrounding the ‘indoor field’ and into the appreciative audience who gets to keep the football.  The Storm, four time defending champ, finally caught fire and won 56-41.  After the game, players are available for signatures. Several went out of their way to take some quality time with our younger students.

Families gather together for the first Family ACT.

The Family Engagement Program held its first family training program called ‘Family ACT (All Coming Together)’ at Lower Brule, SD.

The athletic spirit hit St. Joseph’s last week as spring football for fourth, fifth and sixth graders kicked off combining St. Joseph’s students with local Chamberlain players.  The sign-up sheets were also out for t-ball for the younger students and softball for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade.

On the weekend of March 27 and 28, our Family Engagement Program held its first family training program called ‘Family ACT (All Coming Together)’ at Lower Brule, SD.  In the past, families were invited to campus to take part in similar activities. We are now conducting reach outs on the various reservations so more families can attend.   Twenty-one families participated in sessions, activities and discussions while enjoying great food and fun.  The training covered issues such as setting healthy family goals, defining and honoring family, stress and balance, managing finances and honoring children through respectful, healthy relationships.

The staff at St. Joseph's posing for a picture with KP.

KP with the staff at St. Joseph’s.

April is Native American Career Month and St. Joseph’s was happy to welcome home alumnus, PFC KP Davidson, who came with Staff Sargent Tate, the Army recruiter in Rapid City, SD. KP came to St. Joseph’s as a seventh grader in 2006 and completed his junior year in 2011 before making the tough decision to finish high school in Eagle Butte, SD to be near his family.  After graduation he took a course in auto mechanics at Wyoming Tech.  He did his basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia and just got back from a nine month deployment in Egypt.   KP enjoyed experiencing a new culture and had the chance to visit Israel, but not the pyramids.  He shared some of his experiences from when he attended St. Joseph’s Indian School, telling the students he was homesick at times, but found support and encouragement from his teachers and houseparents.  He urged the students to stick with it, not to get behind in their studies and not to do drugs.  He and Staff Sargent Tate shared opportunities that exist in the Army and answered questions about pay, schooling, job opportunities and shooting different fire arms. He also shared that there is no similarity to reality of war compared to what one experiences in video games. He is currently on leave but will be heading back to his unit at Ft. Hood in Texas.

KP sharing his experiences with staff and students at St. Joseph's

Alumnus, PFC KP Davidson, speaking to the students at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

One final note.  We have another donor luncheon coming up in Panama City, Florida on April 25th and 26th.  If you would like to attend or receive additional information, please call 1-800-584-9200.  Two of our high school students will be there to share insight into what St. Joseph’s is all about and to express their gratitude for your generosity.  Our next donor luncheon will be in New York City on June 7th and 8th.

May God continue to bless and reward you for your generous support of the Lakota boys and girls. We keep you and your special intentions in our prayers.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ




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